2017's Best and Worst States to Grow Old




Everyone has a unique vision of growing old. Often times that vision is inextricably linked to a specific city or state—and that’s because where we choose to spend our golden years is often times just as important as how we plan to spend them.

But the decision about where to live in your later years can be daunting, especially if you’re planning to make a move from your home state. Seniors need to consider everything from affordability to quality healthcare access, long-term care options, a variety of senior care services, and overall quality of life.

Based on a comprehensive study incorporating senior living community reviews, nursing home costs, elderly well-being assessments and more, Caring.com has assembled its annual list of states that offer the best – and worst -- mixture of senior services, affordability, and overall quality of care for seniors.

Unlike many roundups of “best places” for seniors to live, our survey was designed to capture the factors that make a state a healthy, affordable environment for the elderly. Click on the links below to find out which states made this year’s top and bottom 10 lists.


2017's Best States to Grow Old

2017's Worst States to Grow Old


Why Does This Matter?

“I think when people are looking to move they need to think long-term,” says Debbie Fins, a licensed clinical social worker, board member of the Aging Life Care Association and president of Deborah Fins Associates, a geriatric care management services organization in Worcester, MA. “They should look at what the medical care is like. Can they get a doctor? What are the support systems for aging? And can they afford to live there?”

What’s more, Fins says seniors looking to move for retirement need to figure out “where your dollar is going to go furthest with the kind of services you want to have.”

With the aging Baby Boomer population, these are questions that more and more Americans will need to confront sooner rather than later.



State-By-State Results

State Overall Rank Quality of Life Rank Cost Rank
Utah 1 7 14
Iowa 2 8 17
South Carolina 3 22 6
Washington 4 1 38
Nebraska 5 14 20
Arizona 6 11 23
California 7 3 36
Idaho 8 15 23
Colorado 9 8 32
Oregon 10 3 39
Minnesota 11 6 35
Montana 12 10 30
Wisconsin 13 12 13
Hawaii 14 5 46
South Dakota 15 16 27
Alaska 16 2 50
Texas 17 37 5
Nevada 18 23 25
Arkansas 19 36 9
Georgia 20 41 3
Maryland 21 20 31
New Hampshire 22 13 48
Florida 23 33 16
Kansas 24 31 18
Virginia 25 28 19
Missouri 26 40 7
North Carolina 27 39 8
Alabama 28 44 1
Connecticut 29 17 41
Tennessee 30 42 11
Delaware 31 19 37
Louisiana 32 46 2
Michigan 33 27 28
Illinois 34 35 22
New Mexico 35 29 26
Vermont 36 21 43
Oklahoma 37 47 4
Massachusetts 38 18 49
Pennsylvania 39 31 29
Maine 40 24 44
Rhode Island 41 25 42
Kentucky 42 45 12
Ohio 43 43 15
Mississippi 44 49 9
New Jersey 45 26 40
Wyoming 46 38 32
North Dakota 47 30 45
New York 48 34 46
Indiana 49 48 29
West Virginia 50 50 13



About This Study

In addition to analyzing Caring.com data—which includes nearly 150,000 reviews of senior care facilities submitted by its readers in all 50 states and this year’s list of top-rated senior living facilities and in-home care agencies on Caring.com (Caring Stars)—our study also incorporated Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, and the Long-Term Services & Supports State Scorecard, which is a joint effort between AARP, The Commonwealth Fund, and the SCAN Foundation.


about 1 month ago, said...

Have you ever been to Carmel or Westfield, or Noblesville, or downtown Indiana? I currently have cancer and the one positive note is all the cutting edge healthcare available to me close by.